[QODLink]
Americas
US remains committed to Afghan exit in 2014
US military chiefs downplay remarks by defence secretary that Washington could end combat role a year early.
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2012 06:15

Military chiefs in the US say the country's commitment to Afghanistan has not changed after an earlier suggestion that their combat role might end earlier than previously thought.

Intelligence officials were trying to clarify remarks from Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary, who said that combat operations could end in 2013, a year early.

Speaking before a Congressional Committee, CIA director David Petraeus, once the commander of ISAF and US forces in Afghanistan, said: "The conversation Secretary Panetta had with some press on his plan was more than a bit over analyzed shall we say.

"The policy adopted by the leaders of the coalition, of the ISAF coalition with Afghan President Karzai was that by the end of 2014 ISAF will have transitioned all security tasks to Afghan forces."

Last month, a leaked National Intelligence estimate said the situation in Afghanistan was mired in stalemate.

It reported that the Taliban was not in retreat, and was more resilient and determined than ever to wait out the US withdrawal timeline.

Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett, reporting from Washington, says the mixed messages being sent by senior members of the Obama administration are not new.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.